Synergistically Enhanced Electrochemical Performance of Ni3S4-PtX (X = Fe, Ni) Heteronanorods as Heterogeneous Catalysts in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Shoushuang Huang, Dui Ma, Zhangjun Hu, Qingquan He, Jiantao Zai, Dayong Chen, Huai Sun, Zhiwen Chen, Qiquan Qiao, Minghong Wu, Xuefeng Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Platinum (Pt)-based alloys are considerably promising electrocatalysts for the reduction of I-/I3- and Co2+/Co3+ redox couples in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). However, it is still challenging to minimize the dosage of Pt to achieve comparable or even higher catalytic efficiency. Here, by taking full advantages of the Mott-Schottky (M-S) effect at the metal-semiconductor interface, we successfully strategize a low-Pt-based M-S catalyst with enhanced electrocatalytic performance and stability for the large-scale application of DSSCs. The optimized M-S electrocatalyst of Ni3S4-Pt2X1 (X = Fe, Ni) heteronanorods is constructed by rationally controlling the ratio of Pt to transition metal in the hybrids. It was found that the electrons transferred from Ni3S4 to Pt2X1 at their interface under the Mott-Schottky effect result in the concentration of electrons onto Pt2X1 domains, which subsequently accelerates the regeneration of both I-/I3- and Co2+/Co3+ redox shuttles in DSSCs. As a result, the DSSC with Ni3S4-Pt2Fe1 manifests an impressive power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.79% and 5.56% for iodine and cobalt-based electrolyte under AM1.5G illumination, respectively. These PCEs are obviously superior over those with Ni3S4-Pt, PtFe, Ni3S4, and pristine Pt electrodes. The strategy reported here is able to be further expanded to fabricate other low-Pt-alloyed M-S catalysts for wider applications in the fields of photocatalysis, water splitting, and heterojunction solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27607-27617
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 23 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • counter electrode
  • electrocatalytic
  • energy conversion
  • hybrids
  • solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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